Mother tongue should be medium of instruction in schools: scholars
HYDERABAD, Aug 30: Most of the scholars who presented papers at a
conference on education on Wednesday were unanimous in their opinion that the
medium of instruction for students at the primary level should be mother
The two-day international conference on "role of medium of
instruction and examination method in learning process" was jointly organised by
the Faculty of Education University of Sindh and HEC in which noted
educationists and scholars read papers.
Dr R.A. Shah, professor of
education at the Kean University of USA, who is also former vice-chancellor of
the Sindh University, said that modern scientific methods and guidelines should
be formulated for the teachers. The teachers must know the established theories
propounded by the experts in the field of education, he said.
underlined the importance of English in academic affairs and urged the teachers
to motivate their students to learn English, and expressed dissatisfaction with
the prevailing examinations and evaluation system.
He said that the
examination system in vogue assesses the students' memory but little or no
importance was given to testing their thought process. The assessment of
critical thinking and reflective thought was more important in assessing the
real students' merit, he said.
He said that in this process the teachers
teach only mediocrity at the expense of talented students, who feel bored to
death in the classroom. The examiners do not do justice in the assessment of
answer books and added that they should make judicious assessment as they are
the judges at the time of evaluating the answer books.
He stressed the
need for organising courses for in-service teachers and paper-setters and
recommended that the medium of instruction at primary level should be mother
Prof Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, chairman of the Department of
Social Work, University of Balochistan, said that education is considered to be
a key factor for sustainable development, peace and prosperity of a
He said that the medium of learning plays a vital role in
creating interest in the leaner. Majority of students come from Urdu medium
schools but the available literature for their studies is in English, therefore
they face problems in understanding the subject in depth, he said.
Sabir Hussain Raja from Allama Iqbal Open University said that a Unesco meeting
of specialists held in 1951 was of the considered opinion that education is best
carried out in mother tongue.
He said that many studies had been carried
out in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Pakistan which showed that English medium
students, despite their higher initial ability, performed poorly when compared
to their peers studying in mother tongue.
Prof Ms Erum Gul Jilani from
the Department of Education, Bahauddin Zakaria University, said that a study
involving 322 students revealed that the achievement of English medium secondary
schools students was better than that of Urdu medium secondary school
Dr Ubaid Ali Khan, director of the Institute of Education and
Research Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, said that medium of instruction and
examination had remained a debatable issue for as long as one could remember and
the issue was yet to be resolved.
He pointed out that the elite class
favoured English but the middle and lower middle classes advocated Urdu to be
declared medium of instruction and examinations. It was, however, an established
fact that a student comprehends better in his native language, he
Prof Uzma Murad Panhwar, Dr Iqbal Panhwar, Dr Parveen Munshi,
Dr Rafique Ahmed Memon and Abdul Sattar Gopang from Sindh University also spoke
at the conference.
MUET: The Mehran University Teachers
Association on Wednesday rejected the Model Universities Ordinance and demanded
the upgradation of non-PhD professors, associate professors and meritorious
professors who had been deprived of their due right by the HEC.
body meeting of the association criticised the undue interference of HEC in the
universities' affairs and termed it an encroachment upon the academic the
HEC was only an advisory body but it was trying to
take control of the universities by threatening them with stopping or curtailing
their grants, it said.
The meeting resolved to observe black day on Sept
5, against the HEC's policies and a two-hour pen down strike every Wednesday
with effect from Sept 19, for an indefinite period. Dawn
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